Interview: Singer/Songwriter Lara Bell Hits All the Right Notes

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HollywoodChicago.com: What new music are you working on?

Lara: I wrote a lot during quarantine, and have a new single coming out soon. I have been performing in shows I’ve did this summer, and just recorded a demo. My plan is to have the band record underneath it, round up all the media and press materials, and get it on Spotify as soon as possible. It is called ‘Couple More Rounds,’ also know as ‘The Whiskey Song.’ 

It has a very country, foot stomping and campfire song feeling to it, and it’s about how you miss someone so much and nothing helps that feeling go away, not even alcohol. It has been a great hit so far, and I think it is an awesome representation of the new path I wish to take with my music.

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Lara Bell is Coming Out of the Shadows
Photo credit: Jeff Doles for HollywoodChicago.com

HollywoodChicago.com: You have a very diverse repertoire of covers that you perform live at venues across the Midwest. What are your favorite covers to play and what gets the best reactions from the audience?

Lara: This is such a tricky question for me! My set list consists of a lot of different kinds of music. I jump from modern country to classic rock and folk from the 1950s through the ‘80s. I like to cater to every age group and crowd that I play. Lately, the songs I find that get great reactions from crowds are Tom Petty’s “American Girl”, my REO Speedwagon covers, and my folky version of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.”

Also, eclectic songs like Maren Morris’ “My Church” and Miranda Lambert’s “Mamma’s Broken Heart” get good reactions. I love performing upbeat numbers, but I also really enjoy the slow and soulful ones too, like Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You” or Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”. A favorite I like to play is a mashup of Elvis’ “Burning Love” and The Ronette’s “Be my Baby”. The list goes on!

HollywoodChicago.com: What are some of your favorite area venues to play at and why?

Lara: My favorite venues to play are all the venues! As an artist, I love performing at small listening room events. But as a performer, I love taking the big stages of the county fairs and lively bars. The best atmosphere is when you have a crowd that participates in your show by dancing and singing along, and just lending their ear to listen to something you wrote. This happens at a few surprising places, and it always makes my night.

Some fun shows have been The Raue Center Stage in Crystal Lake and The RocHaus in West Dundee. I have also enjoyed being a part of the D.C. Cobbs/Hart’s Saloon performing team. They are a very generous venue. The local farmer’s markets are always a pleasure, The Starline 4th Friday’s event is pure magic, and the gals at Cup O’Joe Coffeehouse have also been so great to work with. They really care about the artists they host.

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Lara Bell and Friend Keep the Music Flowing
Photo credit: Jeff Doles for HollywoodChicago.com

HollywoodChicago.com: They always say that no performer gets where they are without a support system. Who and what gives you the most support?

Lara: I would like to thank my parents for always believing me and supporting my dreams. If it weren’t for them for involving me – and may I add, driving me to – in every theatrical, dance, and musical activity since I was five years old, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They are the best parents ever. Their music taste also influenced me growing up, and that is why I incorporated it all into my set lists over the years. I carry them both as a part of me wherever I go. My Dad also does double duty as my roadie at every show. I couldn’t do it without him. 

I would also like to thank my friends and family for coming to so many shows and hearing the same songs played over and over and over again and still loving them. They truly are the best fans anyone could ask for. Also to the music community online and in person, the audiences, the venues who book me, and the band members who play with me, they truly mean the world and I cherish every second. I am very thankful and so blessed!

Follow Lara Bell:
Website: CLICK HERE 

YouTube: CLICK HERE 
Facebook: CLICK HERE 


Interview by: Jeff Doles
Published by: Patrick McDonald, Editor, HollywoodChicago.com

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